21 May 2015 Passive, real-time millimeter wave imaging for degraded visual environment mitigation
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Abstract
Degraded visual environments create dangerous conditions for aircraft pilots due to loss of situational awareness and/or ground reference, which can result in accidents during navigation or landing. Imaging in millimeter wave spectral bands offers the ability to maintain pilot's situational awareness despite DVE with a "see-through" imaging modality. Millimeter waves exhibit low atmospheric attenuation as well as low scattering loss from airborne particulates, e.g. blowing sand, dust, fog, and other visual obscurants. As such, Phase Sensitive Innovations (PSI) has developed a passive, real-time mmW imager to mitigate brownout dangers for rotorcraft. The imager consists of a distributed aperture array with conversion of detected mmW signals to optical frequencies for processing and image formation. Recently we performed operationally representative flight testing of our sensor while imaging various natural and manmade objects. Here we present imagery collected during these tests as it confirms the performance of the sensor technology and illustrates phenomenology encountered in the mmW spectrum.
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Thomas E. Dillon, Christopher A. Schuetz, Richard D. Martin, Daniel G. Mackrides, Shouyuan Shi, Peng Yao, Kevin Shreve, Charles Harrity, Dennis W. Prather, "Passive, real-time millimeter wave imaging for degraded visual environment mitigation", Proc. SPIE 9471, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2015, 947103 (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177356; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177356
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